clifftops

Jo’s Monday walk : Seaham ‘Tommy’

Sculpture Eleven O One, known by the locals as Tommy

Sculpture Eleven O One, known by the locals as ‘Tommy’

It’s a far cry from the cliff tops of the Algarve to the Green above the cliffs in former mining town, Seaham, but that’s where our walk will take us this week.  The campaign to keep Tommy in place has attracted national attention, and I needed to see him for myself.

Built out of special corten steel by local sculptor, Ray Lonsdale, Eleven O One is so named for the armistice which came into effect at 11am on November 11, 1918.  His air of total bone weariness and despair makes you want to throw an arm around him. Originally intended to be in place for just 3 months, Tommy has touched so many hearts that donations have almost raised the £85,000 needed to keep him.

I’ve taken you to Seaham before, though not on my Monday walks.  It has a long seafront and a pretty little marina.  Come with me and I’ll show you a bit more.

I'm starting at the car park at the far end of the front

I’m starting at the car park at the far end of the front

And walking back along it

And walking back along it towards the lighthouse

Pausing to admire the many rock pools

Pausing to admire the many rock pools

There's a lot of cloud today

There’s a lot of cloud today

So the sea isn't at it's twinkly best

So the sea isn’t quite at it’s twinkly best

But it's still a place where the starfish like to play

But it’s still a place where the starfish like to play!

For the moment we will bypass the Green, where a crowd gathers to have a photo taken with Tommy.  I will come back when it’s quieter, to lay a hand on his knee and try to console him. Instead, we will drop down into the marina, not looking quite so pretty today with heavy skies.

Boats can always snare my attention

Boats can always snare my attention

With a waft of flowers to cheer them up

With a waft of flowers to cheer them up

And some noble weeds

And a few noble weeds

There are good views out to the lighthouse from the cafe that sits above the marina, and the RNLI have an excellent museum, showcasing the lifeboat, if you have time to browse.

Leaving the marina, I look out to the lighthouse

Leaving the marina, I look out to the lighthouse

And the view around the bay

And back across the bay, at Seaham , above the cliffs

There are miles of cliff tops so you can extend the walk as far as you want.  There are parking facilities at both ends of the seafront and also by the Green.  A lower promenade takes you closer to the beach, or you can check out the craft shops and sample local cuisine if that appeals more. But now it’s time to return to Tommy.

Could anything be more sad?

walking logo

Time I shared with you some brilliant walks from last week.  You can click on the logo above or my Jo’s Monday walks page for details of how to join in.  You’re always very welcome.

First up we have Elaine, fresh from the Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday.  I think she’s earned a rest this week!  :

http://elainemcnulty.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/walking-the-ridgeway-from-tring-station-to-wendover/

Drake has been a loyal supporter since I started my walks.  Come with us to lovely Strasbourg  :

http://ledrakenoir.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/age-do-charm/

Jude always has an eye for a beautiful garden and this week is no exception  :

http://smallbluegreenflowers.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/garden-portrait-glenwhan-gardens/

The Alcazar in Seville is a special place, especially when seen through Amy’s lens  :

https://shareandconnect.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/jos-monday-walk-the-alcazar-gardens/

You need a strong stomach for Sue’s post this week.  Deep fried Oreos?  After you!  :

http://traveltalesoflife.com/2014/07/11/chocolate-dipped-bacon-and-scorpion-pizza-eating-at-the-calgary-stampede-a-wild-ride/

Happy walking folks!  I hope to see you next week.

My cloud fixation

The blue horizon

The blue horizon

These days I seem to have one eye permanently on the sky.  Cloud formations totally fascinate me.  They bump into and fold around each other with such gay abandon!  From the moment the sun slips over the horizon I’m aware of their constant movement.  Maybe it’s the restlessness in me that is drawn by them as they wander far and wide.

Nowhere are the clouds more wonderful to watch than on the coast.  Why is it that the sea seems to push the clouds away and hang on to the blue, even when the land is covered in thick cloud? I’m sure there must be a meteorological explanation.  Meantime, join me in a cliff top walk.

Layer upon layer of cloud rolls out to sea

Layer upon layer of cloud rolls out to sea

I was on the coast just north of here, not far from the former pit village of Easington.  There are few signs these days of the coal mining industry.  The occasional lift shaft is preserved as a reminder, along the coastal trail.  According to Wikipedia this is the only place on earth with dolomitic limestone cliffs on the coastline.  The railway runs up the north east coast, often providing sweeping views out to sea.

Notice the goods train in the foreground

Notice the goods train in the foreground

Walking back the sun glints off the water

Walking back the sun glints off the water

And I return to the pit lift, where I started out

And I return to the pit lift, where I started out

I hope you enjoyed cloud gazing with me.  See you next time!

Six word Saturday

6ws-participating-in-bannerLast week PINK , this week blue!

Whitby harbour, North Yorkshire

Whitby harbour, North Yorkshire

It’s been a very Whitby sort of week when it comes to the blog so I may as well finish as I started.  I’m often blue on grey days, but this week I didn’t have much excuse.

How's this for a cliff top view?

How’s this for a cliff top view?

Hope you enjoyed the trip?  I still have some more shots for a rainy day. Click on any photo to see the gallery.

My grateful thanks to Cate at Show My Face.  Her life seems much harder than mine.  Click on the link or the header to see what’s been happening in her week.

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Six word Saturday

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How to dance a jig doll!

Sssh, whisper it, but I think we may just have turned the corner into Spring?  Yesterday I spotted a hint of pink blossom in the trees, and the curves of crocuses throughout the town were valiantly trying not to shiver.  I was still caught in a shower of sleet midweek, but I’ve also been out, striding along clifftops and beaches under wonderfully breezy blue skies.  Want a quick look?

The beach at Hartlepool Headland and derelict pier in the background

The beach at Hartlepool Headland, with derelict pier in the background

The retreating tide

The retreating tide

Approaching the pier

Approaching the pier

My sea monster

My sea monster

The dunes back of the beach

The dunes back of the beach

The habitat of the dunes

The habitat of the dunes

The good old days

The good old days of Crimdon Dene, resort?

The caravan park that remains

The caravan park that remains

Not a good place to throw the stick for your dog

Not a good place to throw the stick for your dog

And home, over the stream

And home, over the stream

Highlight of my week?  Dancing a jig doll!  It was totally unexpected.  At my first ever visit to our local branch of the U3A, the entertainment was a lovely couple, Ron and Pat Keady.  With Ron on guitar and vocals, Pat demonstrated her versatility and love of Appalachian music and dance forms.  The Auto Harp (or dulcimer) was unfamiliar to me, but I recognised the Jew’s Harp and spoons, of course.  When the paddle and the jig dolls appeared, I was enthralled.  Even more so when they were passed around for the audience to try.  Bashing away at the paddle, I thought I did a very creditable version of “Jambalaya”- for a beginner!

What fun!  I think I’m putting one on my Christmas list.  If you have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, the YouTube video links below will demonstrate.  You will love the dog! (second clip)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzNEgMNV8UM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uwuRfGDOrsY

Don’t forget to visit Cate at Show My Face this sunny Saturday, and share your week.  Hope it was a good one?  Click on the button for my previous 6WS’s.

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